Dylan and the Minox

Bob Dylan at Place Des Arts, Montreal in February 1966 taken by Minox

Bob Dylan at Place Des Arts, Montreal in February 1966 taken by Minox

Toronto. I saw in the Globe today that Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature yesterday. He was considered to be a moving force in the world with his poetry and music, a force that has continued on to this day. I first learned of this strange young man in 1965 listening to his records of the day.

On February 20th, 1966, my girlfriend at the time knew the concert promoter and bought tickets for Dylan’s show at Place des Arts in Montreal. We were seated in the second row, just back from the stage. I brought along my little Minox B and took some pictures.

Few knew of the Minox. Most photographers – amateur and pro alike – used larger cameras. While the venue did not permit a camera, this little guy was easily hidden in a pocket and  quite unobtrusive when used. It could be held steady and with the brightness of the spotlight, it  worked fine without a flash. The image was a reasonable size as well, given we were so close to the stage. A faster film added a grain to the images I  snapped that chilly February night.

When I first heard Dylan’s records, singing in his off-key voice, I had trouble making out his words. After listening to him a few times, I could understand his words. Today I have a few of his LP albums and the CD versions too. The Minox? Long gone, traded in for a used Leica IIIf.  The pictures I took that evening were processed in Montreal by a man who understood the need for a curved negative plane to match the one in the tiny spy camera.

That May, I graduated with a B Sc and moved back to Ontario beginning work as an engineer in Bell’s Western Area Engineering. Clicking on the Bob Dylan link, you can scroll down to listen to his songs from back then.

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